According to the Sunday Times the Arts Council has aquired a £60m arts stash. Leaving aside the whys and wherefores of their collecting all of this, lets just start to put the situation right. They have started to put the art on line (at a cost of £45k) and they say the art is available on loan. Now Southend has long wanted to improve its cultural offering and has in the past gone to the Arts Quango for funding but with relatively limited success. I don’t really care if Southend owns the art or has it on loan, indeed on loan might be better as every so often it could be changed. I can think of several places for a Sculpture or two and I am sure the Beecroft would like a rotation of art pieces. This would encourage more visitors to the town, give residents the opportunity to view special pieces that have been bought through the tax payer and which currently are not too easy to view.
Southend Council officers have sent for details! But say insurance may be a problem- Why? Hundreds of towns have works of art on display, it’s a question of getting some insurance…….
So Sir Elton wants to give his photography collection to the nation ( Friday’s One show) but says we do not have a photographic museum in this country, he went on to say that he would like to display all his objects to tell his story.
Well could Southend come to his rescue? We are designing and new museum, is it beyond our architects to incorporate a photographic section, might we find some room for his art collection and paraphernalia as well? In return would Sir Elton part fund our new museum? These are questions I think worth exploring so once I have some answers I will post them and I would to know if you agree with me!
It’s all about making Southend a Better Place for Residents, business and visitors!
The red ribbon was cut this morning on Southend’s new seafront west cycle path by Southend on Sea Mayor, Cllr Ann Holland.
The new cycle path which is part of the Sustrans Route runs from Chalkwell to the Pier and is an off road route alongside the carriage way and Promenade. Southend is a Cycling Demonstration Town and Cycling England who have contributed to the costs came down a few weeks ago to asses the safety and were very pleased with the new path and its design. It is hoped the new path will encourage more to take up cycling and by next March when City Beach completes, it will be linked to the cycle path in the East giving a wonderful opportunity for a long ride along the shore!
Southend Council has also planted new Palm Trees along the edge of the new cycle path and into theavailable verge spaces along the Eastern Cycle Path. The Palm Trees have really changed the atmosphere of the promenade, giving it a Rivierafeel and they have brought a softer touch to what was a rather hard concrete area. By setting the cycle path between the carriage way and the Promenade it is now far more enjoyable to be on the Promenade as the cars are that much further away.
The Promenade, apart from being a great place for vistors and the beach, is regularly used by residents for a pleasant stroll or a healthy jog and now by many cyclists. There are several cafes and bars along the Promenade and of course there are opportunities for getting an ice cream or even some candyfloss or rock!
My thanks go to the Southend cycle team, our engineers, parks department and senior officers who have all worked hard and as a team to get this delivered for Southend, on time andwithin budget and to the construction firm who worked hard and, with apologies to residents, overnight on some occasions to get it completed before the season starts.
I went along to take a look at City Beach to see how the work is progressing as I’m told the first section is nearing completion and will be opened to the public very soon. Quite a milestone!
It’s looking good too!
The area is in front of Hartington Road and now only needs a coat of protection so that gum and dirt are more easily removed. Once the whole length of the new carriageway is completed traffic will be transfered onto it, to allow the new pedestrian area, which is now the carriageway, to be transformed.
The Cornucopia, said to be the smallest pub in Essex, is on the corner and once the new area is opened the pavement outside will be repaved to match the new paving.
A detail of the new paving, we have chosen a good qualitypaving slab in a range of colours to reflect the importance of the Seafront.
Southend is set to plant palm trees along our Seafront to soften the landscape. Many residents have over the past few years suggested that Palm Trees would improve the seafront. Some will be fitted in along the existing eastern cycle path whilst many more will go in as part of the new cycle path that is planned to run westwards from the Pier to Chalkwell. The new western section will be built parallel to the southern promenade. The palm trees, which will be selected for climate and exposure, will be carefully located so as not to obscure views for residents. Work should commence this spring but will probably stop over the summer season, commencing again in the autumn.
In March 2011 when City Beach is completed it will be posible to cycle from Chalkwell to East Beach, off road, which is a fantastic opportunity for those who wish to cycle for fun, excersise or as a family but are not too happy doing so on road.
The Palm Trees will not be going into City Beach as this will has a very full seperate landscape scheme as well as an off road cycle route which will link the eastern and western sections..